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Offgrid but still have grid power
#1
This is what not2bme said in another post so I didn’t want to take from that posts shine...
“I use a 2424LV-MSD right now and it runs most of my loads in my house. It all depends on what you consider small loads. For example my fridge only takes 200W to run but during start-up it probably spikes up to 1500W easily. If I had an existing load of1000W and the fridge kicks in, it will trip the inverter. I have it set to switch back to grid when that happens, and in 10 minutes it will switch back to battery. Same goes for my 3/4 HP pool pump. It takes 700-900W to run, but the starting surge is too much for the PIP. So for the first 10 minutes it runs on grid then it flips back to battery for the rest of the day. All those above mentioned are inductive loads. Resistive loads like toasters/computers/tv/stereo are fine and doesn't exhibit those surges. I also have a 12000btu mini-split A/C that works off a inverter compressor, so it doesn't cold start like a normal window unit a/c, and that works very well with my PIP.”

How does the tripping the inverter and switching to grid power work? Is he saying that he just runs the inverter till it’s overloaded and it trips then (somehow without damaging equipment) it switches to grid power? Any help so I can understand this will help.. from what I’m gathering from the above comment is that a person could have a small offgrid inverter connected to the grid power and when inverter gets overloaded (due to it being to small for all homes loads) it will just switch to grid power? Also what would happens if inverter tries to switch back on after 10 min and loads are still to high, it just trip again? Is there only certain inverters that can handle this constant overload and just trip safely and resume normal operation after 10 min.. I assume this has something to do with an ATS that sees the inverter isnt supplying power cuz it tripped and therefore lets grid supply but how does inverter start supplying loads again after 10 min?
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#2
https://youtu.be/6dJvEEjXyOE I just watched this video on Youtube that may explain it.
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#3
Yeah so that video kinda explains it thx..
there are other brands of inverters out there that continue to let inverter supply close to its max when it gets overloaded and then just uses the extra power needed (for loads) from the grid.
Still hard to believe that overloading this inverter with surges is ok to do, but I guess some inverters have protection so they don’t get hurt at all from surges.. I need to make sure whatever inverter I get has that surge protection..



Which other inverters have an ATS and are fine with being overloaded?
Or atleast which inverters are ok with being overloaded then I could install a separate ATS? If I did it this way how would I get the inverter to start supplying again?
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#4
(03-26-2020, 03:03 AM)Doin it Wrote: Yeah so that video kinda explains it thx..
there are other brands of inverters out there that continue to let inverter supply close to its max when it gets overloaded and then just uses the extra power needed (for loads) from the grid.
Still hard to believe that overloading this inverter is ok to do, but I guess some inverters have protection so they don’t get hurt at all from surges.. I need to make sure whatever inverter I get has that surge protection..



Which other inverters have an ATS and are fine with being overloaded?
Or atleast which inverters are ok with being overloaded then I could install a separate ATS? If I did it this way how would I get the inverter to start supplying again?

The video pretty much sums it up. The 10 minutes that it flips back from grid is a fixed interval within the PIP itself. I set the circuit to be equivalent to what my PIP can put out. So for 2400w/120v=20Amps. So I have a 20A circuit breaker. That feeds a critical loads panel but if I draw more than 2400W continuous it will probably trip the breaker. So can it run a whole house? Probably not, but my critical loads panel never consume 2400W continuous. It's possible I may have everything running all at once, vacuum, tv, a/c, pool pump, toaster, etc. but I've yet to come across it. Do you need a separate ATS? Not really, because once the PIP runs out of battery juice, it flips back to the grid. This is pretty much a typical semi off-grid setup. The only downside is that once the batteries are charged up and the solar has more power than you can use then all that energy goes to waste. If you go down the grid tie and no battery system, it would be earning you money. How much money? well it all depends on the net metering contract you have to set up with your electric company. If they're smart, they'll probably give you a measly fraction of your regular rate when you sell to them. Combined that with the cost for the electrical inspection, etc, you need to make sure your setup is large enough to make it worthwhile. Anything under 8kw solar panels in my opinion isn't worth it.
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#5
(03-26-2020, 11:10 PM)not2bme Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 03:03 AM)Doin it Wrote: Yeah so that video kinda explains it thx..
there are other brands of inverters out there that continue to let inverter supply close to its max when it gets overloaded and then just uses the extra power needed (for loads) from the grid.
Still hard to believe that overloading this inverter is ok to do, but I guess some inverters have protection so they don’t get hurt at all from surges.. I need to make sure whatever inverter I get has that surge protection..



Which other inverters have an ATS and are fine with being overloaded?
Or atleast which inverters are ok with being overloaded then I could install a separate ATS? If I did it this way how would I get the inverter to start supplying again?

The video pretty much sums it up. The 10 minutes that it flips back from grid is a fixed interval within the PIP itself. I set the circuit to be equivalent to what my PIP can put out. So for 2400w/120v=20Amps. So I have a 20A circuit breaker. That feeds a critical loads panel but if I draw more than 2400W continuous it will probably trip the breaker. So can it run a whole house? Probably not, but my critical loads panel never consume 2400W continuous. It's possible I may have everything running all at once, vacuum, tv, a/c, pool pump, toaster, etc. but I've yet to come across it. Do you need a separate ATS? Not really, because once the PIP runs out of battery juice, it flips back to the grid. This is pretty much a typical semi off-grid setup. The only downside is that once the batteries are charged up and the solar has more power than you can use then all that energy goes to waste. If you go down the grid tie and no battery system, it would be earning you money. How much money? well it all depends on the net metering contract you have to set up with your electric company. If they're smart, they'll probably give you a measly fraction of your regular rate when you sell to them. Combined that with the cost for the electrical inspection, etc, you need to make sure your setup is large enough to make it worthwhile. Anything under 8kw solar panels in my opinion isn't worth it.
>The only downside is that once the batteries are charged up and the solar has more power than you can use then all that energy goes to waste. 
Interesting, so PIP is kind of one-way ATS - e.g. switches to grid when batteries cutt-off but does not ATS to batteries when they reach a certain voltage?

In my 100% off-grid case, I have seperate charge controller, battery, and inverter.  The inverter is turned on/off by battery voltage.   When inverter goes on - it trips convential ATS to supply power and when it goes off, the ATS trips back to grid.  So each day - at 52v the system goes over the 'solar power' and at 49.5v back to 'grid power'.

I avoid the grid-tie via ATS(s) but the downside is I cannot produce more than I can consume within the home - because I can't sell it back to Power Company.  This is fine for me, and as  my home consumes more than I can produce with solar - and with proper sizing/wiring I can consume all the PV produces.

I think a lesson here is that its good to clarify your goals - e.g. off-grid, on-grid, hybrid, or simply battery backup for grid failure.  This really matters as to your design and equipment you choose.
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#6
(03-27-2020, 12:31 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 11:10 PM)not2bme Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 03:03 AM)Doin it Wrote: Yeah so that video kinda explains it thx..
there are other brands of inverters out there that continue to let inverter supply close to its max when it gets overloaded and then just uses the extra power needed (for loads) from the grid.
Still hard to believe that overloading this inverter is ok to do, but I guess some inverters have protection so they don’t get hurt at all from surges.. I need to make sure whatever inverter I get has that surge protection..



Which other inverters have an ATS and are fine with being overloaded?
Or atleast which inverters are ok with being overloaded then I could install a separate ATS? If I did it this way how would I get the inverter to start supplying again?

The video pretty much sums it up. The 10 minutes that it flips back from grid is a fixed interval within the PIP itself. I set the circuit to be equivalent to what my PIP can put out. So for 2400w/120v=20Amps. So I have a 20A circuit breaker. That feeds a critical loads panel but if I draw more than 2400W continuous it will probably trip the breaker. So can it run a whole house? Probably not, but my critical loads panel never consume 2400W continuous. It's possible I may have everything running all at once, vacuum, tv, a/c, pool pump, toaster, etc. but I've yet to come across it. Do you need a separate ATS? Not really, because once the PIP runs out of battery juice, it flips back to the grid. This is pretty much a typical semi off-grid setup. The only downside is that once the batteries are charged up and the solar has more power than you can use then all that energy goes to waste. If you go down the grid tie and no battery system, it would be earning you money. How much money? well it all depends on the net metering contract you have to set up with your electric company. If they're smart, they'll probably give you a measly fraction of your regular rate when you sell to them. Combined that with the cost for the electrical inspection, etc, you need to make sure your setup is large enough to make it worthwhile. Anything under 8kw solar panels in my opinion isn't worth it.
>The only downside is that once the batteries are charged up and the solar has more power than you can use then all that energy goes to waste. 
Interesting, so PIP is kind of one-way ATS - e.g. switches to grid when batteries cutt-off but does not ATS to batteries when they reach a certain voltage?

In my 100% off-grid case, I have seperate charge controller, battery, and inverter.  The inverter is turned on/off by battery voltage.   When inverter goes on - it trips convential ATS to supply power and when it goes off, the ATS trips back to grid.  So each day - at 52v the system goes over the 'solar power' and at 49.5v back to 'grid power'.

I avoid the grid-tie via ATS(s) but the downside is I cannot produce more than I can consume within the home - because I can't sell it back to Power Company.  This is fine for me, and as  my home consumes more than I can produce with solar - and with proper sizing/wiring I can consume all the PV produces.

I think a lesson here is that its good to clarify your goals - e.g. off-grid, on-grid, hybrid, or simply battery backup for grid failure.  This really matters as to your design and equipment you choose.
Offgridinthecity I think the pip-inverter is the ATS main priority, the batteries-inverter will be used as long as the inverter will turn itself on if there’s battery power.
I think the biggest difference with the pip is that it doesn’t matter if the inverter has a larger load than it can handle. The inverter saves itself from damage and just shuts off and lets grid supply power even if battery is still charged, then after 10min inverter turns back on supplies it’s max output and the surge to turn on the loads was already supplied by the grid.
I guess this wouldn’t be needed if there’s no way the inverter can be overloaded by loads connected to it, but it would be beneficial to not worry about surge and then be able to connect enough-more loads to the inverter to max (or atleast produce more power) its output due to not worrying about over sizing inverters for surge

so my question is how do I accomplish this with an ATS and an inverter??? What kind of surge protection should I be looking for in an inverter so inverter doesn’t get hurt AT ALL from surges like the pip but will still shutdown like the pip so grid takes the surge then inverter kick back on by itself after surges are handled by grid???
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#7
(03-27-2020, 12:31 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote: Interesting, so PIP is kind of one-way ATS - e.g. switches to grid when batteries cutt-off but does not ATS to batteries when they reach a certain voltage?

The PIP is capable of switching back to battery once it reaches a set voltage, so no need for an ATS. This is common on most off-grid inverters. ALso they commonly take AC input from alternate sources such as the grid or generator. They also perform AC charging as well, so you can for example charge from a generator during cloudy days or short winter months. I've had my batteries drain to a point over this winter and the AC charger would kick in to maintain the battery which would otherwise drain to 0V.
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#8
(03-27-2020, 03:57 AM)not2bme Wrote:
(03-27-2020, 12:31 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote: Interesting, so PIP is kind of one-way ATS - e.g. switches to grid when batteries cutt-off but does not ATS to batteries when they reach a certain voltage?

The PIP is capable of switching back to battery once it reaches a set voltage, so no need for an ATS. This is common on most off-grid inverters. ALso they commonly take AC input from alternate sources such as the grid or generator. They also perform AC charging as well, so you can for example charge from a generator during cloudy days or short winter months. I've had my batteries drain to a point over this winter and the AC charger would kick in to maintain the battery which would otherwise drain to 0V.
Most off grid inverters do not have an ATS built in like the pip, some of the aims inverters have an ATS built in but will the aims handle the surge and not get hurt (due to having an internal current sensor) but still shutdown so grid can take the surge that inverter can’t handle and then start back up like the pip does, I don’t think they do. Won’t most inverters shut off from a surge then have to be restarted manually?
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#9
A pure inverter do not have that function No. But all combination systems having solar Charger and inverter and is called off grid have it. They are a combination all in One.
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#10
I guess what I’m trying to accomplish is having the features the pip has but in separate component-modular solar system. I suppose the surge amount that not2bme has on his pip is still not over the surge capability of the pip and this is why it doesn’t get damaged?
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